Call for Applications: Postdoc 3y, Bochum

The research group Logic in Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence (Christian Straßer, Ruhr-University Bochum) has an opening for a PostDoc-position (3y, 100%).

The position is embedded in the LoDEx project (Logical methods for Deontic Explanations), a joint project between the Ruhr-University Bochum (PI: Christian Straßer), the University of Luxembourg (PI: Leon van der Torre) and the TU Vienna (PI: Agata Ciabattoni).

The Project.

The candidate will be working as a member of the WEAVE project “Logical methods for Deontic Explanations” (LoDEx). The project’s general aim is to develop formal frameworks for generating explanations in the context of ethical and legal reasoning. These “deontic explanations” facilitate our comprehension of the underlying reasons for the application of specific norms within a particular context, illuminating why adherence to these norms is crucial.

The position.

The PostDoc position focuses on the use of formal argumentation for the modeling of deontic explanations. Such a model comes with many challenges. One is that in order to be more perspicuous and convincing, explanations should take into account what the explainee believes and values, i.e., their epistemic and axiologic horizon. Another challenge is the contrastive nature of explanations, since why-questions are often framed contrastively (‘Why should I do A rather than B?’). Formal argumentation offers a good basis for modeling explanatory exchanges, e.g., in terms of dialogues. The candidate will also interact with a PhD student working on applications of deontic explanations to bioethical problems.

Job requirements.

The candidate should have familiarity with either of the following (and ideally several):

  • formal logic, ideally modal/deontic/epistemic logics;
  • formal argumentation;
  • a basic affinity with and an interest in ethical and moral theories.

The candidate should have a PhD-degree in computer science, philosophy, logic, AI, or related. Knowledge of German is not required.

We welcome candidates with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. We especially encourage candidates from underrepresented groups.

For any queries, please contact

Conditions of employment.

A three-year, 100%-funded PhD position (TV-L 13), starting February 2024.

The position offers a meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences. Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.


Your application should contain the following documents:

  1. a letter of motivation explaining your interest in the position and your qualifications for it,
  2. your curriculum vitae,
  3. a writing sample (such as PhD thesis, a published paper, etc.), and
  4. names and contact information of two persons willing to provide references.

If you are interested, we invite you to apply before Nov 30 2023.

Interviews will be held shortly thereafter online. Please send your application to

Christian Straßer
Christian Straßer
Professor of Logic in Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence

Christian is a full professor of logic in philosophy and artificial intelligence at the Institute for Philosophy II, Ruhr University Bochum. He is an expert on nonmonotonic logic and logical argumentation. Among other things, he has been investigating nonmonotonic approaches to handling deontic conflicts, deontic detachment principles and proof theoretic approaches in deontic logic.